How Your Story Can Bring Your Audience to Their SensesHow the Brain Reacts to Stories

I’ve recently discovered new ways to use a story to connect with an audience. I found them in the best-selling book ‘Brain Rules’ by John Medina. In an energetic and entertaining fashion, he introduces new insights into our brains.
 
For example, one idea that is useful for storytellers. He discusses the power of senses to create vivid and emotional experiences. This helped me understand one of the strengths of my coaches. They are some of the best speakers in the business. And they’ve taught me how to bring life to a story with sensory-rich detail.

What is a Sensory-Rich Story?

Start your narrative by describing the Circumstances and Characters with sensory language. This creates an instant bond with listeners. They might not know why, but they are attracted to the story.
 
For example, consider the following story opening:
 
“It was a bitterly cold January afternoon. The howling winds were so loud John could barely think. As he drove over the crest of the hill, he thought, ‘Oh, no!’ He could smell the unmistakable odor of burning wood. Then he got the first glimpse of the charred remains of his house.

Which of Your Emotions Does This Story Passage Trigger?

What do you see?
 
What do you hear?
 
What do you small?
 
What do you feel?
 
What do you taste?
 
This last question is the toughest. Taste can trigger strong sensory memories, but they’re not always so obvious. If you have ever been near a house that has burned, there is a lot of material in the air. Sometimes you can actually taste it. It’s not the greatest experience, but, it sticks in your memory.

52 Words to a Fully Engaged Brain

Think about the power of this passage. 52 words — in less than 20 seconds — activated all five of your senses. This the meaning of the phrase ‘creating a connection with an audience.’ Through their own experiences with the cold or a fire, they now feel as if they’re part of your story. This opens them up to hear more of your presentation.
 
There’s another reason sensory connections are effective. They trigger curiosity in the audience. What questions come to mind as you read the opening lines from the story above?
 
Where does he live that is so cold?
 
How did the fire start?
 
Was anybody in the house?
 
How much of the house burned down?
 
Was it salvageable?
 
Where would John live now?
 
All these questions, and more, from those 52 words.
 
It’s incredible how much emotion and curiosity sensory-rich stories can create.
Help your audiences come to their senses. Include as many of them as possible when you develop your stories. You’ll experience a connection that lasts far beyond your time in front of them.

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Story Brings Audiences to Their Senses ultima modifica: 2018-04-15T15:18:23+00:00 da Michael Davis

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